Motivational Gym Beats

I think music in the gym is so underrated.. I’m not really a fan of dance music but it really perks me up in the gym, it makes me run faster and lift heavier. Since moving to the big smoke, I religiously hit the gym every Monday – why? It’s not because I have a cheat meal on the weekend (well, ok maybe it is) but on a Monday night a DJ graces the decks in GymBox and the whole place is jumping!

R&B Jams mashed up with electronic beats really psyches me up, especially when it is super loud. With the right tracks, I get my game face on and go hard. Listening to dirty beats and a heavy baseline makes all the difference for me and it helps me keep focus. I recently realised if I haven’t prepared a gym playlist then I wont get the best from my workout. If your body is tied from training, make the most out of your itunes or spotify and go that extra mile!

I thought I would share the love and let you in on some of my fav workout albums at the minute.

  • Kisstory 2015 – The Best Old School Anthems
  • Defected – Most Rated 2015
  • Calvin Harris – Motion (Sucha classic!)
  • Armin Van Buuren presents A State of Trance
  • Alesso – Forever

I am always on the hunt for new playlists and tracks so let me know what you listen to in the gym? Motivation is always needed.

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Binge Eating and Me

As women we are partial to the odd chocolate craving every now and then thanks to our glorious time of the month, binge eating can happen very easily.

You know what its like, you diet all week, cut out the crap, have one bad day and there you are in Morrison’s picking up a pack of 5 white chocolate cookies, cheesecake, vanilla milkshake and crisps. I will class this as my dinner for the night.

A couple of months ago my life revolved around the gym, my diet was clean and my training demanding. I started to become obsessed with my body, every morning I would wake up and look in the mirror. Hoping to find a more defined Tanya looking back at me. Every single day I would count my calories, I would be constantly checking my macros and ensuring I was on track. If I did indulge in something sweet and naughty, I would punish myself later in the gym. When I started my fitness journey I was really happy, I loved the changes I was seeing and I started to become hooked.

When I gave birth to this beautiful blog in early Jan, it was something to keep me sane whilst I was stuck in the house after my foot op. As life returned to normal, I

questioned whether or not I should continue, whether it was good enough and even worth while reading..

This blog for me is a journey of self discovery, may sound a little cringe but I don’t want to just show you the good times.. So after a couple of busy months, a break up, a new job, a new location and home, it all has been a little cray. As I am settling into my new life, it’s knocked me off track, sometimes I feel a little lost and its easy to just go home to bed and want to sleep for days.

I know that’s not the attitude to have, but lets be realistic it happens to the best of us. So why am I eating my feelings? I cant really answer that question, living in London can be pretty isolating, I mean no one smiles at each other on the tube, everyone is so wrapped up, your simply just another face in the many crowds. After a couple of nights in, with my cookies and cheesecake I decided that it was time to quit the bull and get back to the happy, healthy me.

Staying focused is hard but here are a couple of little tricks that helped me out..

  1. Manage the stress: I feel like this is easier said then done. When deadlines are pressing its easy to be overwhelmed. Simply take 5 minutes out of your day to allow you to catch your breathe.
  2. Make sure you eat 3 meals a day: Living on your own can make it all to easy to skip meals, for me I save all my calories for a big feast, but if you eat regularly this should squash those unhealthy cravings
  3. If you want a treat don’t restrict yourself just be treat wise. Chocolate provides us with pleasure, so eat slowly and enjoy every minute.
  4. Distract yourself, go for a walk or ring up a girlfriend to have a chat, they will lift your spirits and put a smile on your face.
  5. Turn over if come dine with me is on.. This is prime time for me, when I see people eating it makes me want to eat. I don’t know why it just fills me with joy, so if I have already had dinner I will skip the show, or if I’m in the middle of making a kick ass meal, I will keep it on.

I hope with this post you can have a little giggle, or even if you can relate I would love to hear from you. Would make me feel a little less crazy haha!

My Lambing Experience

Spring – what a wonderful time! For the past two years, my journey to work consists of driving past miles of farmers’ fields, so when March comes along I find myself slowing down to stare at the beautiful baby lambs! Every year I do extensive research into finding out what farm will let me feed the lambs and get up close to them, but after a while, I never found anywhere that allows you to get really up close with them.

It wasn’t until one of my friends at work was talking about a farm she helps out on, with lambing season being one of the busiest times, the farmers are stretched out with caring for all of the ewes and babies. It was a dream come true when I was invited down for the day.  She explained quite a lot to me about the lambs, most of the sheep would have twins, but you would get a handful of triplets and even a couple of quads! The healthy and happy lambs would stay with their mothers, however a couple would get rejected or the ewe just wouldn’t be able to provide for them all. This is where the farmers step in, it is extremely clear to see which triplet or quads were too small, so he would take them into his care, tubing and bottle feeding the, provide a cosy stable with heat lamps to ensure the get the best possible chance at survival.

Arriving after work for their 7pm feed, we entered the stable where the lambs were separated into groups, we had the bigguns (who could feed themselves), the middles and the babies (they all needed bottle feeding). It was so interesting when entering the bigguns unit, the lambs were so curious and saw the farmer as their mother (because he feeds them). They got extremely excited when we entered, nibbling on my parka jacket and rubbing themselves up against me, it was so magical to be surrounded by these curious animals who really wanted to just play. After their feed you can see how full their bellies are, they stomach expands just like us when we are bloated – super cute!

Next up was the middle group. Filled with medium size lambs, who were again curious and very springy! We bottle-fed the smaller ones to ensure they were getting enough milk, there was a couple of weaker lambs who we helped to their feet and encourage them to move around the stable. To bottle feed lambs, I thought it would be quite similar to feeding babies, but they do require a bit of force when getting them to suckle on the bottle. At first, they really love the warm milk and they can’t get enough. After three quarters of the bottle later, the lambs groan out loud to let you know that they are full. The bigger lambs were able to feed themselves from the teat’s nozzle, they all rush over in a hurry, push and shuv to get their first. Once full, the lambs become energetic, a couple can’t control their urge to spring and jump about, accidently kicking each other and crash landing.  It was so funny to watch this happen, the lambs also seem quite surprised at their flips.

In this group, there was a female lamb whom we called “Geraldine,” she was a very calm lamb and she had a connection with a certain male who just happened to be the biggest of the group. He would walk over to Geraldine and barge her with his nose, he does this to get her to move so he can lay down and then would follow suit and lay on top of him, snuggling together to keep warm. I think they are exclusive, I mean they are tucked in the corner away from the group.

So onto the best part, the babies! This group consisted of about 20 lambs in total, who were all under 1-2 weeks old. They were a lot smaller than the biggens and a couple of these lambs were still quite weak. We had to bottle-feed all of the lambs here, so to do this we would sit the lambs in front of us, whilst holding them to keep them still. Placing the bottle upright, with the teat next to their mouth it was quite easy to get them to suckle – but you did get one or two awkward ones who liked to turn their head every time you went close.  Typical – right? Once the lambs have had their first bit of milk, they are keen to have more and more. In the baby section, there was one black lamb who was a bit bigger than the rest, he was a curious little thing and kept following me to each lamb I was feeding, fighting to get the bottle from them to him. He would nibble on your fingers, ears, coat, cheeks, you name it – he wanted it!

Once we had fed all the babies, it was time to check the main barn. The ewe’s who had already given birth were together with their lambs, the ewe’s that were still pregnant were together in a pen. I wasn’t aware that they were pregnant as I was really surprised at the size of the sheep!! Yes, they look small in a field but up close, their stomachs are very wide, so to me it wasn’t that noticeable, (I don’t mean to insult any chubby sheep out there by the way.) We gave each mum and lamb water, bedding and food for them to be comfortable for the night. Whilst we were busy doing this, a sheep was pacing up and down, trying to get comfortable. It was laying on the ground and was almost making this heaving motion and that’s the key indicator that they are going to give birth!

Finally, the ewe got a comfortable position, which just happened to be right in front of us. She seemed a little confused, looking around at the ground trying to find her baby (she thought she had already delivered the baby already – please, it’s not that easy!). The farmer kept his eye on her and after a couple of groans, we could spot the water bag hanging,  the contractions were regular and the lamb appeared out of the uterus in the normal delivery position, both front feet appear with the head resting between them. She did not need any assistance from us, she gave birth all by herself and the lamb was healthy. After the delivery process the ewe will usually take care of her own new-borns, it is best not to interfere. She cleans the lamb up, licking away any mucous that’s left. After around 20 minutes, the ewe was encouraging the lamb to get up and walk. It was not that easy for the new born at first, but eventually it managed to stable itself and it was clear that the urge to find milk was next on the agenda. Unfortunately we had to shoot off, the farmer stayed with the ewe for the next delivery and we heard that it all went well.

If you have young children, or are just incredibly curious about small fluffy things then I would urge you to take a trip to your nearest farm. I had such a wonderful time and I learned quite a lot from the whole experience! I am planning on making another trip there, so I will keep you updated!

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Hedken Extreme Review

My natural hair colour is a very light mousy brown, but of course I don’t like what I have got, that’s when hair dye became one of my newly acquired friends at the age of 13. From being blonde, to red, to dark brown for a couple of years and then black, my hair had lots of treatments to it over the years. About 6 months ago, I wanted to go a little lighter, so I used a home stripping kit to take out the black stains on my hair, I had chocolate dye on top with a couple of bleach blonde foils in, it brightened up my whole look which I loved.

Bleach is not something I really wanted on my hair and for a girl with a curly, frizzy afro – it didn’t do me any favours. My hair started breaking; I was noticing split ends in pretty much every single strand of hair, it felt dry and completely damaged. After the surge of guilt and complete worry I came across a couple of hairdressers discussing Redken online. It wasn’t a brand that I was familiar with but the reviews were so good, I had to try it for myself.

Redken extreme describes itself as a nourishing formula, created with ceramides and proteins that begin damage control on the inside, with a double line of defence, preventing further damage and split ends. After using both the shampoo and conditioner after two weeks I started seeing the results. My natural frizzy curls felt soft and shiny – I forgot my hair could feel so good. When washing my hair in the shower and usually clogging the plug hole, the amount of hair that came out after showering had noticeably decreased. After each wash (usually around twice a week) I could feel and see the improved condition of my hair.

Since using Redken, the texture of my hair has been restored and it looks and feels 10 times more healthier. I cannot recommend this product enough, yes it is a bit pricey but I honestly think that it is well worth the money. It saved my hair, transforming it from dull, dry and lifeless to curly, bouncy, shiny locks!

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Maybelline Dream Flawless Foundation

So I almost always wear Number Seven Stay Perfect Foundation or MAC Studio Fix …… but ever since the sun has been hiding, my shade (the palest one) doesn’t seem to match my skin tone anymore, how I don’t know. So after spotting Dream Flawless Foundation in Asda for around £6, I thought I might as well give it a try. A beautiful bottle, which is pretty and compact, was one of the attractions for me and I am so happy I picked it up.

I was rather impressed, I apply my foundation with the Real Techniques Brush, and when I applied this to my face, dabbing and blending over my nose, cheeks and eyes, it felt super smooth and silky on my skin. The formula is extremely light weight, it felt like a face cream, I didn’t feel like I was wearing much make up at all – which I liked. When blended the colour matched my skin perfectly, giving me a nice and natural glow. I had to build the coverage up, you can add more to certain area’s for a fuller complexion, I do this around my nose and chin. I was so smiley the day I used this, my imperfections were barely noticeable and my face felt so free and non-cakey.

The applicator was different, a tear drop shaped wand. To my surprise this was very helpful, it provides you with the perfect amount of product, which drips off for a fuss free application. If you are a bit of a clean freak (like me) then be careful, the foundation drops off so easy so beware of the carpets!

After finishing work, a good 12 hours later I was super impressed to still see the foundation on my face, yes it did rub off on my chin, but overall the coverage was still great for a £6 bargain.

Overall I am really happy with this purchase, as you don’t need to use a lot. The smallest drop will provide you with a silky base, it doesn’t feel sticky or heavy, and it simply just glides on. I feel like this bottle will last me a long time, longer than my usual foundations!

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Have you tried any new foundations recently? What do you use everyday?

Tan’s Top Tips: Working from home

Working from home

Working from home does not suit everyone; your bed is calling your name, there is too many distractions and too much food. Well, that was my struggle anyway. I didn’t have a choice in the matter, I wanted to work and it had to be from home. So, for somebody who gets distracted by the smallest things, I wanted to share my top tips that helped me to stay focused. If this helps just one of you – it was worth it.

1. Set your alarm for your usual wake up time

 Staying in bed is nice, of course it is. But when you have a job to do, it can be so hard to part with your pillows. Setting your alarm for your usual get up time will help to not only retain your working sleeping pattern, but it will also ease you into the working day. Have your breakfast, watch a bit of morning TV and start your laptop up, ready for your day ahead.

 2. Position yourself somewhere productive

 At uni, my creative place was in my bed believe it or not. I would puff my pillows up and place my mac on my chest and work like that – the image you get right now is probably an awkward Tanya – but it worked. I honestly don’t know how I did it, but back then I was such a sloth. Now I find that getting out of bed, sitting downstairs on the couch, or even at the breakfast bar, I stay more alert and get more shizz done. So, if you have to work from home, see what special place works for you!

 3. Stay organized

For the first week or so, I ignored my diary. Why? I felt like I didn’t need it, which was pretty true. My diary helps me to organize my meetings, conference calls and my life, I found myself forgetting what day of the week it was and the actual date. I didn’t realize it was two weeks til my friend’s birthday, so panic set in when I had to sort out my train tickets and sofa crashing plans. Now I can look forward to it – yayyy 1 week to go.

 4. Have a tea break

 Tea, tea, tea… who doesn’t like a cup of tea? As mentioned before, my tea break is usually 10am, it gives you a break from the work, lets your eyeballs rest and you get a little me time, before cracking on til lunch. Breaking up my morning made me that little bit more focused than usual, I was getting more done and before I knew it, it was 1pm and lunchtime honey!

 5. Stay off of social!

This is the most obvious one right? But, we are all suckers for doing it. Thinking to yourself “I will just pop onto facebook for five minutes,” ending up on your friends, brothers, girlfriends page.. Stay off of social, don’t log onto any social network on your laptop, you want your Internet tabs to be fresh with work. If you have to, then check your social sites every now and then on your phone, but never on your laptop. Yes, that also means the daily mail, buzzfeed and distractify – save it for your lunch break!

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There you go guys, my top 5 tips for working from home. What do you find works for you?

Self-confessed Green Tea Addict

I sit there, wherever I may be, in bed, at my desk, on the couch laughing with family, but I will always have a green tea in my hand. Why, well I will share my top 10 reasons for my very green and healthy choice!

1. It passes the time, it hits 10:30am at work and that is my tea break, taking a slow walk to the coffee machine, I get to socialise on my way and by the time I have finished my green tea, its already 11:30am. Result!

2. Tea – I like sugary tea, but it isn’t good for you. So one day I switched and green tea wasn’t all that bad, I like drinking tea so it is a good substitute.

3. I like holding a hot cup. My body is almost always cold, so this warms me up and makes me feel like I am being cuddled. Is that weird?

4. It boosts your metabolism – hello! Who doesn’t want that to happen?

5. This is personal, I don’t know if it is scientifically correct but I crave less, I have a green tea if I am thinking about a sugary snack and it usually does the trick.

6. It tastes nice – this is probably because I have been drinking it for a while, but lemon green tea is my fav. There are lots of flavours out there, ginger bread, apple and pear, cranberry, mango and lychee and even salted caramel (which I did NOT enjoy).

7. It contains antioxidants which is good for you!

8. With lemon, in the morning, it helps your digestive system to wake up and it will help to de-bloat you

9. It boosts your immunity! This is my savior in Winter, I am so prone to colds and this helps to protect me against those germs!

10. It’s rehydrating – well duh obvious! I suffer with migraines and headaches so I am always drinking water, I carry a 1 litre bottle of me everywhere I go. So Green Tea is a nice change from cold drinks and the fruity ones are full of flavour and tends to keep my headaches at bay!

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Do you drink Green Tea? What is your fav flavour?

Flats: The New Me

Like most girls who are twenty-three, I adore high heels, any shape, colour or size I will find a need to buy them. I am 5’4, so I wouldn’t say I am small or tall, but when I wear heels it elongates my legs and makes me feel super sexier. When I am dressed to go out-out, I catwalk down the hallway like nobodies business. So flats, is the new me. Why? Cause I had a big op on my foot and I need to give it a solid year before I can step out in my courts, so I scoured the internet to find some pretty flats that I will be buying. My inner diva is sad about this transition, but I will try and make it as fabulous as possible.

Flatshoes

1. White Croc Loafers 2.Black Caged Espadrilles 3. Kody Chunky Loafers 4.Leopard Print Flats 5.Esme Silver Lace Ups 6.White Snake Print Slip Ons 7.Black Pointed Slip On Pumps 8.Black Croc Brogues 9. White Embellished Sandals

What do you think of my selection? Any particular faves? What is your flat must have?

My 5 Happy Things This Week

This is a new post to my blog, I am going to make it a regular post. In life, I think many of us don’t reflect enough on the things that makes us happy. When you are having a bad time, it is so easy to let that consume you. So let’s banish out the negativity and talk about what made me and YOU happy this week.

 1. Homemade chicken nuggets

In my family there has been some major life style changes and now my dad has took it upon himself to create healthy dinners for all of the family. One thing we love is chicken, so this week he made chicken nuggets from scratch. It doesn’t sound like a big deal – but I didn’t even have any idea of how to make them… yet they were delicious.

2. The fault in our stars

I am one of those people who refuses to buy a new book until I have read the ones that are still on my list. The world went crazy about the book and the film, so I thought I will give it a read myself. I am still trying to figure out what kind of books I am into, but this gripped me from the start. I am currently on chapter 13 and I love it!

3. Flowers around the house

Being a poorly pup recently, I was very blessed with the bunches of flowers I received. I didn’t realize the effect that flowers have on me. You know, it is cliché that women love flowers – but I actually do. Whether you buy them for yourself, or they were gift, they add a pop of colour and life to your house. I feel somewhat fresh when I have flowers around.

4. Sons of Anarchy

I am going to have to do a whole post on this series – but I literally fell in love. Guns, family feuds, psycho mothers and cold-blooded killers is the words I would use to describe it. I watched the finale this week and sobbed for the whole hour. I wanted a happy ending; you know where they all live happily ever after – that wasn’t the case though! This is one of the best dramas I have watched; it is up there with breaking bad.

5. The Chase

When I am working, I never make it home in time for The Chase, so since I have been working from home, this show has became my daily challenge, I love taking part from the sofa with my green tea. So, just to brag I actually smashed The Chase – got all of the answers right, even when the chaser and the contestant got them wrong – woohoooo! Now for my honesty, I knew about 40% of the answers, and guessed the rest. Still counts though?

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I want to know what made you happy this week? Did you try anything new? Did you have a grey day?

Vision Express Experience

This is a bit of a different post on here, today I had an eye test at Vision Express and I was completely impressed by the whole service I received from the start to finish.

I feel the need to share this post, I have been brand loyal to another opticians, for the last 7 years anyway. My last eye test with them left me quite disappointed. The optician was blunt and the whole examination was really quick, I felt like I had been in for a quick express MOT. The results of the eye test were not shared with me, I did receive a new prescription, but there was no direct comparison to my last test, so I didn’t actually know if my eyes had changed or if I needed new glasses.

So, today I decided whilst I have a little free time, to book in for a full eye test with Vision Express. Even though as a retailer they are quite pricey with their frames, an eye test is around £25, but I thought I would give them a go. When I arrived, I was greeted into the store by all three members of staff, the optician explained every step of the examination, what she was looking for and how it was going to happen. This settled me, I felt very comfortable from this moment on. Sitting in front of the robotic machine, the optician was checking my eye health, this included eye pressure and a photograph of the back of my eye. Following this, we went into a separate room for the usual eye test, you know the one where you read all the letters again and again.

After all of the tests were complete, the optician showed me the image display from the back of each eyeball. She explained what she was looking for in the optical nerve and retina and also informed me about their jobs in relation to the body. My curret glasses were then examined, (these are two years old), she informed me that one of the lenses in my glasses is too strong. This was surprising news, but she did talk me through why this imbalance could happen. My experience was extremely informative, I think that it is great to know what is going on with your body, especially your vision. I received a full de-brief and was then passed onto the shop assistant.

After trying on over 80 paris of women’s and 50’s pairs of men’s specs, I chose a lovely Ralph Lauren pair to which I received an offer that was running (Wooohoo!). If you spend over £149, you will receive £99 to spend towards another pair… So technically speaking, most of the designer brands start from £169, therefore you get a back up pair for free, does it get much better than this?!

If you are considering booking an eye test, take a look at their website because there are always offers on. Don’t be fooled or intimidated by their expensive price tag!

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What do you think of them? Where do you usually shop for your specs?